Document Type


Date of Award

Fall 1-27-2008

Degree Name

Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Engineering - (M.S.)


Chemical Engineering

First Advisor

Rajesh N. Dave

Second Advisor

Piero M. Armenante

Third Advisor

Boris Khusid


There are indications in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries that the reduction in size of a crystalline particle can lead to better performance of the drug compound, particularly for water insoluble drugs, in the final dosage form. Many particle formation techniques have been investigated in recent years by researchers to obtain desired particulate sizes and size distributions. Supercritical fluid technologies have been successfully investigated for particle formation due to its unique gas/liquid properties in the supereritical state. In this report, results of particle formation using the principles of Rapid Expansion of Supercritical Solutions (RESS) have been documented.

In the RESS process, the solution is rapidly expanded through a well-defined nozzle which leads to formation of ultra-fine particles. An extensive parametric study was conducted in order to obtain an optimized set of experimental parameters to formulate ultra-fine particles with narrow particle size distribution. Particles in the nano / sub-micron range were obtained. Modifications of the RESS process were also explored. Particles obtained from the RESS process were characterized using tools such as scanning electron microscopy, light scattering, and, Raman Spectroscopy. This work illustrates that the RESS processes can be successfully used to produce ultra-fine particles.



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